This girl right here. Let me first introduce her.
Macie Landry: wife, mother, daughter, sister, daughter in law, sister in law, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, coworker, friend, bipolar. Yes, I said the B-word, but it is next to other descriptions that make up this girl. This girl is me and I am Bipolar. Looking at me you would never know the struggles I go through daily. It used to rule my life, but now it lives alongside and does not define me.
May 23, 2020 is when I hit the lowest point in my life and realized something needed to be changed. I became a person neither I nor my friends knew and I was embarrassed. But before I talk about that, let’s back up a few months to when I decided to see a psychiatrist for help with medication management for what I thought was a depression/anxiety diagnosis from postpartum. At the end of April, my doctor decided to increase the dosage of Zoloft to 200 mg and diagnosed me with severe depression. What happens after that is a huge blur and it was the scariest time of my life.
I was showing signs of alcoholism. My impulse decisions were out of control causing tension and arguments with loved ones. My manic days were wilder than ever. I even had a voice in my head to distract me to where I couldn’t focus. I didn’t sleep, instead would mop or bake at 1:00 in the morning because who needs sleep when you are on a high. Well, those highs end and then comes the low, depressive days. My low days were not sleeping all day in a dark room as many think. Instead, I was extremely mean to myself and loved to make myself cry with words (worthless, disgusting, fat, alone, can’t be loved). I would have mental breakdowns to the point it would turn into a panic attack.
Every day I would wake up wondering which Macie was I going to be. It is similar to you in a boat in the ocean with other boats around you and in one hand you have a kite and in the other, you have an anchor. The kite is the manic days and the anchor is the low days; and every day you are just trying to stay afloat.
Fast forward to June 19 which was my monthly check-in with my psychiatrist. That’s when my diagnosis went from severe depression to bipolar and at that point, I was asked to see a psychologist. Turns out antidepressants and bipolar do not mix well and your high and low days become more severe. Most people would feel upset or in denial hearing this diagnosis, but I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. Finally answers to why I didn’t feel “normal”. Things in my life began to make sense and it turns out I have had this condition since junior year of high school.
Junior year of high school!
13 years ago.
Thirteen years of having bipolar control me and making me do things that I would regret daily. It was dormant until I had my firstborn in 2016 and I developed severe postpartum depression. My doctor at the time just treated the anxiety and put a band-aid on the big problem. No band-aid can fix this wound, except the current mood stabilizers I am on (that took some tweaking to find the right dosage), sessions with my psychologist, and support from my friends and family. I have also found a passion for running to help take control of my mental illness. This is a journey, not a sprint or easy fix. For the first time in 13 years….I feel normal.
I am proud and not afraid to educate those around me of my illness. It is time to end the stigmas around mental health.
This girl right here. This girl is me and this is my brave.